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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 22, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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[captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] >> coming up on "california
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country"... they're small, but they're mighty popular this time of year. then the hills are alive as a community gets to work harvesting liquid gold. next, it's off to the races as we get a behind-the-scenes tour of a true california classic. it's all ahead, and it starts now. as the farm to fork concept has grown, farmers are used to hearing from chefs on what they like and what will make a great dish. for example, the foreign cinema restaurant in san francisco has garnered local, national and international acclaim as a quintessentially san francisco dining experience. all thanks to their flair for keeping the menu local and fresh. a list of seasonally inspired fare is what restaurant legends are made of. but as any good chef will tell
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you, they are nothing without their ingredients. >> the menu is really from just a lot of local farmers around here. >> but at the top of today's menu is watermelon. that's right, the once picnic staple is now moving into more and more white tablecloth eateries as more people discover it is an important meal component, not just a colorful garnish. >> we saw that, it's just very refreshing to pair watermelon with something savory like a salad. >> while the traditional large seeded varieties are still the standard in the industry, there is evidence that chefs and consumers are beginning to want something different. >> for me, it's hard for me to buy a big watermelon. i don't have a place to store it. so i usually try-- i get a half. >> and now, farmers are listening. not only to chefs but consumers as well, as they grow produce to match a demand for smaller, sweeter fruits. and in a world of supersized menus, some fruit
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are actually shrinking, which is apparent at the hammond ranch in fresno county. here, small, round watermelons, about the size of cantaloupes, are now being bred to match the declining size of the average american household and a taste for something new. >> we understand the public's looking for convenience, and there's nothing more convenient than these personalized watermelons. they're so easy to store, and they store for a lengthy period of time. so i think it's the future. >> and while the watermelons may be small, the harvest is a big one. and what amounts to a giant easter egg hunt, some of the most skilled eyes and hands in the business scour the green vines looking for signs of ripeness. >> these folks have a trained eye to know when the color is just right. >> the many watermelons that thrive at mike's farm are part of a resurgence in the whole industry. consumers are now snatching up nearly 83 million pounds of the fruit a year.
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which is exactly why mike and other growers were approached by the orange county-based farm dulcinea to grow the new melons, as well as other exciting and different fruits and vegetables that the public was demanding. >> the thought process behind the development of dulcinea farms was in the beginning, we looked at the category of produce and asked consumer what they were most dissatisfied with. and based on their answers, we took the 13 products that they were most dissatisfied with from a consumer standpoint, and we went back to our parent company syngenta a asked us what type of products did they provide that really brought those consumer attributes back to the category. >> and what they came up with was a first--demographic demand agriculture. instead of farmers picking what and why to grow the crops they did, consumers were now dictating choices. and today, dulcinea-based farmers are growing specific
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items, like smaller produce, sweeter fruit and longer lasting vegetables, all to meet consumer demand. in addition to the personal size pure heart watebmelons and a tuscan-style cantaloupe, dulcinea is also experimenti with a new type of tomato-- rosso bruno tomato. >> well, the obvious thing that differentiates this tomato from other tomatoes is the color, first of all. then, secondly, it does have a much richer, deeper flavor that is completely different from another standard tomato. >> at casey's greenhouses, just outside of oxnard, you'll find the typical roma tomatoes on the vine, but you'll also see another dulcinea product--the uniquely flavorful and colorful russo bruno tomato. it's a meatier, sweeter, and, yes, browner version of its redder counterparts. >> so the key here is is to eat it when it's ripe. now, traditionally, we would think
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it's gotta be red. russo bruno hato be kind of a tinge of red-brown-green color on it, and then you hit that perfect flavor that is very unique to this particular variety. >> popular in europe, this brown tomato is now available year-round in the states, proving the demand is up for something that defies our thought of what a tomato should look like. and while brown tomatoes and some diminutive-sized fruit may have seemed a little far-fetched a few years back, they are now part of a new trend in agriculture, as farmers and chefs learn what consumers want one bite of homegrown food at a time. for "california country," i'm tracy sellers. >> brought to you by allied insurance, a member of the nationwide family of companies, which also includes nationwide insurance. on your side.
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>> welcome back to "california country," the show that takes you on an all-expense paid trip to experience the best-kept secreãof the golden state.
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>> at sweeney's restaurant in the town of brentwood, about 40 miles northeast of san francisco, chef peter charitou loves cooking with olive oil-- california olive oil. it's locally grown and pressed just a few miles away. >> i'm greek. it's in my background to cook just about everything with olive oil. >> this unmistakable passion for california extra virgin olive oil makes 38-year-old sean mccauley smile widely. >> we want to have our niche, we want to have our niche market, and we want to be the best we can be, you know, just like anybody. >> walking around his 76 acres of olive trees, sean mccauley admits he's living his dream. on the mccauley's brothers olive grove, dozens of family members, friends, and workers are all picking olives the centuries-old way--by hand. so you look busy there, sir. >> yes. >> what's your technique? >> i'm just kind of sliding it down, trying not to do too much damage to the tree, you know. i
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don't want to do too much damage to it. i don't want to put it in shock. we want to show it love so that way, it will do more next year, you know? >> mccauley, a second generation farmer, knows that despite the fun, there's also plenty of hard work ahead. last year, his company produced 1,100 gallons of california olive oil. now, the first rule of harvesting is don't let those olives fall on the ground. >> just like an apple, if you drop an apple on its face, it bruises, and that raises the acidity of your oil. and so, the less bruising, the sooner it gets to the press--so you want to press the same or the next day. that's important. >> sean's parents were almond growers, and he knew that, like them, he would someday make a living working off the land. he skipped college and began looking around. the almond market was too volatile for him, so... >> so he decided to plant olive trees. >> did you say, "honey, i love you, but you are nuts" [laughs]
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>> he is nuts. [laughs] he would qualify as nuts. i think most people that know him would let you know that. he always comes up with really crazy ideas and follows through with them, and you never know what's around the corner next with him. >> undaunted, sean pressed on, buying 2,100 young olive trees, propagating them from european trees. and then, in 1998, he planted his first olive tree. back then, his neighbors also thought he'd lost his mind, especially since the land was so overgrown. >> this was weeds and rattlesnakes. and people used to dump all kind of garbage on the road. sean moved here, and he started planting all these beautiful trees. >> yeah. we started planting these, and a lot of--a few of them asked, you know, "what's going to happen when they all drop on the ground? you're going to have a big mess." and i'm like, "well, we're going to pick them." [laughter] >> we're going to press 'em, you
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know? >> but tell me, when you first started--when he first started, did you think "he's nuts, planting olives--" >> well, to tell you, the truth is we never thought we could plant anything here and that nothing was going to grow 'cause of the--you know, we don't have that much water. we have seen people driving by here now just to look at it. >> sean grows mainly tuscan variety olives. olive trees don't need much water, which is perfect for california's climate. and get this--one tree can produce olives for thousands of years. sean's whole family's involved at harvest time, especially his 3 young daughters. >> yeah. they bring their friends, you know, the days we pick, and they have a blast, you know, and they have fun. it teaches them a little bit about agriculture, which is nice. and then, a lot of kids right now
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aren't exposed to that. >> like many small artisan olive oil producers in california, sean sells his product directly to lal restaurants and grocery stores. since many of his olive trees are on a hillside, his brand is called what else but mount of olives. most of the olive oil sold in america is actually imported from countries like italy or spain, and so, not a lot of people are familiar with california's olive oils. well, the mccauley's, they are hoping that they can change all that. >> and then, i'm using, of course, mccauley's olive oil. this is the vinegar, the balsamic vinegar, and the extra virgin. >> every week, at his own brentwood country store, sean mccauley's friends and local chef makes mouth-watering dishes for customers to sample and to buy. >> i met sean and maria a couple of years ago, actually. and then, they said that we need to do something someday together. and of course, i use a lot of
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olive oil. so that's--they opened up the store, i think, in july, and i came in september, and we just did it as a trial. sean already knew he was going to use me. he just said, "you need to come in here and do this," and offered me this room, and here i am. and so, now i've turned it into a dining room. >> while hordes of customers are sampling the tasty food, sean's family are busy bottling the olive oil by hand and creating the labels for the bottles behind the scenes. the olives are usually bottled about a week after they've been pressed. in just 3 months, the mccauleys have sold 3,700 bottles of olive oil. chef peter charitou thinks they've got a winning formula, which is why at sweeney's restaurant, he's always cooking with mccauley's fresh california olive oil. >> the aroma is fantastic. >> in brentwood, charlotte fadipe, "california country tv." >> this segment is brought to you by the california farm bureau federation.
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we'll be right back with more of the magical creations from california's most famous kitchens after this.
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>> welcome back to "california country."
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>> california's unique climate allows its flower growers an advantage in prucing the finest cut flowers in the world. flowers in every shape and color thrive here, with approximately 5,000 acres devoted to the commercial growing of fresh-cut flowers in california. and here in california, there are more than 275 growers that market cut flowers. but none have quite the international flair that they do here at brand flowers. in the quaint, coastal town of carpentaria, just south of santa barbara, is where you'll find brand flowers, the pet project of a lady who knows a thing or two about growing one of california's most prized commodities, wilja huppe. don't believe me? well,
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just ask her. she's more than happy to talk about her favorite subject. >> i think i know a lot about flowers. we have gerbers, germinis, actually. you know, the gerber is native to south africa. and not long ago, people developed the germini. it's a lot smaller, but it is better for bouquets, smaller arrangements. the best thing about gerber is not only that it has instant color, it's very easy to take care of. you cut about 2 to 3 inches off the stem. make sure that there is flower food when you buy gerbers. put the flower food in the vase, and you put the gerber in and the gerber should last you for about 2 weeks. this is how bouquets are made in europe. and we would want to brought this to the united states. so you keep turning that bouquet. >> in addition to being owner and ceo of brand flowers, wilja's also chairwoman of the california cut flower commission; a group that strive to help growers market their
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flowers. it's all part of a dream that started decades earlier for this green-thumbed goddess. >> i came to the country 20 years ago from holland. i was born and raised in holland. and already since childhood, i knew that holland was not big enough for me. so i wanted to explore new worlds. i lived in england, i lived in germany, and even that was too small. so i said, "ok, what about the u.s.?" so i ended up in california and started planting flowers in 1990. >> today, brand flowers is one of the leading cut flower and green nursery operations in california. they have more than a million square feet of cut flower production, specializing in dutch flower varieties like tulips and lilies, as well as begonias and daffodils from england,
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and hundreds of other flowers that originate all over the world and then come to brand flowers in the form of bulbs. more than 30 million of them arrive here every year, where they are transplanted into the rich soil for wilja and her crew to grow, market and distribute, all while still keeping track of all the new trends sprouting up in the industry. >> i have seen, too, over the years, you know, a lot of shift in colors. what good hybridizers look for is the colors that the car makers are looking out for. in 4, 5 years from now, what are going to be the popular colors. car makers are basically the color setters for the world, yeah. and then the rest follows. like the wallpaper follows, the paint follows, and the flower growers follow as well. >> and although it may seem like wilja does in fact know everything about flowers, she says there's always more to learn about the industry that gave her hope and a new outlook
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on life so many years ago. and now she's more than willing to return the favor through what else but flowerq. >> i think selling flowers is easiethan selling tennis shoes, because you sell an emotion. be it for a happy occasion or a sad occasion. but still, there's emotion attached to it. it is wonderful if we have a flesh of a product and we donate to a local hospital, a local nursing home, just to have people come up to you; people that are older, even, and say, "nobody has ever given me flowers before." so, you know, that makes me really, really happy. >> hi, tracy. i understand you have a little problem. can you tell me? >> i do. it's a personal problem, evelyn. but i can't plant without breaking something off the plant. what do i do?
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>> see, it's really easy to break these, isn't it? >> yes, yes. >> and maybe you're not the most agile planter, so this is for everybody who needs a little help. we call this "evelyn's painless patented potting plant." and all you have to do is follow along, and i guarantee you'll become an expert. so first we're going to start with our, in this case, this is one of these new natural material fiber baskets that have a plastic liner. make sure you have holes in it. >> ok. >> and then you're going to put a layer of soil in there, right? first, good, new soil. you take the pot off the plant. we got our plant. so you gotta remove the pot, set the plant over here, ok? >> like that one, ok. >> then you put the empty pot on your layer of soil. and we have to fill the soil in. so can you put a little more soil in there? >> ok, i can do that. i can work. >> you can't break anything, so don't worry about it. just dump it in fast. >> as long as i don't break a nail. >> this is quick and dirty. i guarantee, you won't break anything.
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at least not till later. ok. >> a little bit more. >> yeah, a little bit more. then you're going to start packing it down hard all the way around, see? and when you're finished with that, you're going to end up with something that looks like this. with all that soil around. then we have to water again so the soil is wet. so that's your job to water. >> ok, i can do that. good watering, nice, don't be little girly with it. that's it. good. now, all that water's going to soak in. that's beautiful, beautiful. when you water, then you get to sit down and pour yourself a drink of some kind. if you have wine, you're going to be happier. if you have iced tea or water, you're going to be healthier. >> hmm. >> so which one do you want here? >> all of the above, probably. >> all of the above. >> like, frankly-- >> yes, uh-huh. after you've had your drink, the water's had a chance to soak in. >> ok. >> and you might need a little more soil, maybe, just,
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you know, a little bit to bring it up some place. and then you're going to carefully remove this empty pot. and what we have here is an exact muffin tin mold. exacy the right size to take our plant here. ok, the plant we chose to use today is a marvelous plant called begonia dragon wings. it's one your annually type of begonias. push it down with your fingertips a little bit. >> uh-huh. >> water it again. >> uh-huh. >> don't fertilize it right then. wait a couple days, few days. the plant is potted. we hope you're not too potted. and the whole thing has been totally painless. and i'm still waiting for the patent fees to come in, but nobody's ever paid me for this. >> someday, someday. >> but anyhow, this is evelyn at weidner's gardens with your good gardening hint for the day.
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>> welcome back to "california country." >> what do seabiscuit and bing crosby have in common? they're both part of the legendary history here at the del mar thoroughbred club. for more than 60 years, this is the place that legends are made of. and it all gets started here on opening day. >> you gotta remember, there's 200,000 horses born a year. only one can win the derby. [music playing] >> riders up! >> del mar has got a great
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history. i mean, one of the reasons we're so successful is really our history. i mean, bing crosby lived up the road at a ranch up there, and he was looking for a place to run his horses, so he convinced the state that they should build a racetrack here at del mar, so he did it. [bell ringing] [crowd cheering] >> we've been raising horses for 40 years or so, and california goes way back in the 1800s with a lot of horse farms. it's got a real heritage here and it employs a lot of people. if somebody just gave you a little baby horse, you might have 20,000 into it by the time it ever got to a race or maybe more than that. [crowd cheering] >> oh, horse is everything. i mean, we're just a passenger. i have a lot of respect for horses, because these horses try hard. they're great animals, and i love the way they act, and they respond for me, they'll try as hard as they can. >> [playing tune]
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>> it's a freak show. it's like being back in wrestling. it's, you know what, it's wrestling with hats. yeah, you know what, it's the place to be today. >> i have a friend, he's the best handicapper in the world because whatever horses he likes, i go the opposite. i used to not know anything about betting horses, but i go opposite of what he likes, and i win. >> the three things about the track that are absolutely the truth is that the owner of the track has the chauffeur, the book maker has a mercedes, and the horse player has 2 jobs. >> what is it about opening day, though, that gets everyone out here? >> everyone's been anticipating it for so long. >> and we get to dress up and have a good time. >> well, a day without going to the track is like a day without sunshine. >> and that's pretty much it, you know. there's a smile on every face. even the losers are smiling here at del mar.
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>> that concludes today's tour of the best of "california country." join us next time for more undiscovered treasures from the most fascinating state in the country. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] [captioned by the national captioning institute]
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annenberg media ♪ by: era la agente de bienes raíces. un empresario de los estados unidos está interesado en comprar la gavia. pero... todavía no está en venta, ¿verdad? narrador: bienvenidos a destinos: an introduction to spanish. primero vamos a ver algunas escenas de este episodio. aquí jaime. tengo muy buenas noticias. angela ha llamado desde el hospital. dice que roberto se despertó y que está muy bien.